O’Reilly, Reverend James T. (Lawrence, MA)

LAW_2001120101There are two collections.  The first is composed entirely of 62 4” x 5” black and white photographs of the Reverend’s Julbilee parade.  The other is a number of individual photos of Fr. O’Reilly.  O’Reilly is also in the Augustinian fathers collection.

The Reverend James T. O’Reilly was born in Lansingburgh, NY on May 1, 1851.  He attended Villanova College in 1866, graduating with honors in 1871. During his years of study he enrolled in the novitiate of the Augustinian Order in 1868.  He was ordained a priest on March 15, 1874. His first parish was St. Denis, West Haverford in Pennsylvania.  In 1879 he transferred to St. John’s Church at Schaghticoke, NY.   Ultimately he became the pastor of St. Mary’s church in Lawrence, Massachusetts.  He was well loved by his parish and respected by the community at large.  Fr. O’Reilly was a champion of the temperance movement and Irish independence.  He was intrepid in his fight to further the cause of the Catholic Church in Lawrence.  Churches dedicated by Fr. O’ Reilly include St. Monica’s in Methuen and St. Francis, St. Joseph, Sts. Peter and Paul, Holy Trinity, and St. Anthony in Lawrence.  He was appointed a trustee of the Lawrence Public Library in 1896. The Golden Jubilee of Fr. O’Reilly (his fiftieth year as a priest) was celebrated May 4-7, 1924.  The final event was a civic parade that closed the schools and businesses and included floats, and bands, religious, civic and fraternal bodies, military units and school children.  He died in 1925.

Many years after his death the City honored Fr. O’Reilly by naming the I-495 bridge over the Merrimack River after him. At one time there was a plaque attached at the northbound side of the bridge.

2 Responses

  1. […] River Bridges: O’Leary Bridge (Broadway Bridge) Casey Bridge (Central Bridge) O’Reilly Bridge (I-495 Bridge) Sirois Bridge (I-93 Bridge) Union Street Bridge (Duck […]

  2. […] collection.  Topics chosen were streetscape images from downtown Lawrence in the 1923/24 period, Fr. O’Reilly Golden Jubilee Parade, NRA Parade, 1942 Independence Day Parade, the 1962 God & Country Parade, the Spanish American […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: